Stars go top, Shipanga fired

African Stars went to the top of the log for the first time since the opening round of the season, while Paulus Shipanga became the second coach to be fired in the Debmarine Namibia Premiership over the past week.

With former coach Marvin Mbakera back in Stars’ hot seat after Ghanaian Prince Koffie’s contract was terminated last week, the defending champions collected maximum points, winning both their matches at Okahandja’s Nau-Aib Stadium.

On Saturday they beat Life Fighters 1-0 through a goal by Uetuuro Kambato and on Sunday beat Unam by the same score, with Willy Stephanus scoring the winner. It was Stephanus’ 12th goal of the season, putting him at the top of the goal scorers chart and an early favourite to retain the trophy that he won with 20 goals last season.

Those wins saw Stars moving up from third place to the top of the log on 26 points, for the first time since their opening round 3-1 win against Pirates on 16 September, as they step up the defence of their title. 

Former log leaders FC Ongos, meanwhile, dropped down to third position on 25 points, after losing 2-0 to Okahandja United last Friday and beating Blue Waters 2-1 on Sunday. 

Gerald Kaengurova and Harrison Kabemba scored Okahandja’s goals in their win at Windhoek’s Independence Stadium on Friday, but FC Ongos bounced back with a 2-1 win against Blue Waters at the Nau-Aib Stadium on Sunday. Theophilus Junias scored both their goals, while Issaskar Gurirab scored for Blue Waters, but the win was not good enough to save Shipanga’s job.

“Ongos Sports Club hereby announces the departure of Paulus Shipanga from his role as head coach of FC Ongos men’s team. This decision comes after thorough consideration between the club’s management and Shipanga,” the club announced on its Instagram page yesterday.

Shipanga didnt see it coming and was yesterday still quite shocked by the decision. 

“Yes, they fired me and it definitely came as a shock. In the letter I received they said it was due to my performance and my attitude, whatever that means. Even when I was on assignment with the national women’s team, I still coached them from outside, and we won three of our last four matches, so to be let go like that with no disciplinary hearing is quite sad,” he said. 

According to the statement, FC Ongos will now begin the process of seeking a suitable replacement to fill the road of head coach, while the existing coaching staff will continue to oversee training and match preparations.

Khomas Nampol remained second on 25 points after drawing 1-1 against Mighty Gunners on Friday and beating Eeshoke Chula Chula 1-0 on Sunday. Their national defender Denzil Haoseb scored the winner against Chula Chula early on with a long clearance that bounced high over Chula’s keeper Nason Ngoma into an empty net. 

Stars, Khomas Nampol and FC Ongos have now opened up quite a lead over the rest of the field, with Blue Waters following in fourth place on 19 points after they could just collect one point over the weekend. Besides their defeat to FC Ongos, they managed to hold Young African to a goalless draw at Gobabis’ Legare Stadium on Saturday. 

Tigers moved up to fifth place on 16 points after drawing 1-1 to Julinho Sporting on Saturday, while Chula Chula, who also lost 4-3 to Young Brazilians at Keetmanshoop on Saturday, are now a point behind in sixth place. 

Okahandja United moved up to seventh position on 15 points after a successfull weekend that also saw them holding Young African to a 1-1 draw at Gobabis on Sunday. 

Julinho Sporting also had a successful weekend on the road, drawing 1-1 to Tigers on Saturday, and beating Civics 1-0 on Sunday, to move up to 10th position on 11 points, while Civics, who only collected one point in a 1-1 draw against Okakarara Young Warriors on Saturday, are now 11th on 11 points. 

Mighty Gunners, meanwhile, beat Young Brazilians 3-1 on Sunday, while Orlando Pirates dropped to the bottom of the log after losing 1-0 to Life Fighters on Thursday.

The latest log standing is attached.

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